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Zaragoza suffers mild frosts

Stonefruit sector on alert in north-eastern Spain due to frosts

Stonefruit trees in Lleida, Catalonia, and in the provinces of Zaragoza and Huesca, one of Spain's earliest production areas, are already in the flowering stage, including all cherry varieties and some early nectarine, peach and apricot varieties. This is the most crucial moment of the season.

"The winter was milder than usual, although the spring weather has made things harder. Delays are likely to take place in all our products' development and ripening, and difficulties may arise in the pollination and settling of the various varieties currently in bloom," explains Sergio Alonso, of the cooperative Cosanse; the largest in the region of Aragon.

Blossoming cherry trees in Zaragoza

According to Alonso, the first frost took place in the early morning of Monday. "We had temperatures of between -3 and -4 degrees Celsius which have affected the fruits now at their most sensitive stage, right before the settling. These frosts could damage a considerable percentage of the fruit, mainly some apricot and nectarine varieties. Although the extent of the damage still needs to be evaluated, for now it does not seem to be too severe," assures Sergio Alonso.

No frosts have taken place in Fraga, in the province of Huesca, where large production volumes are expected. "Petals have started falling from some cherry trees and the fruit is already developing. The arrival of frosts now would consequently cause very severe damages," explains Ramón, of the company Summer Fruits, where the stonefruit season will start in late April and finish in October.

In the province of Albacete, central Spain, some apricot plantations were damaged in early March due to frosts, with 80% of the harvest being lost in some areas.

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